By Gemma Dignam (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Hong Kong surprised me with its endless list of things to do. Even though I expected it to be a small, dense city, it also has beaches, hikes and islands to visit to keep you entertained for the whole year. When you first arrive, you’ll probably want to spend time settling into your accommodation, meeting new people and walking around the city which might be a bit overwhelming. Here are some places I recommend visiting in your first weeks, to get started!
Go to Victoria Peak
- One of the most famous viewpoints in Hong Kong, you can see great views of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, both during the day and at night.
- You can hike up from near HKU Station, taking about an hour, or take a bus or tram
Take the Star Ferry to TST
- Most likely you will be living on Hong Kong Island so taking the Star Ferry across will be a great way to begin exploring Kowloon
- Enjoy the views and watch the lightshow from TST harbour in the evening
Walk along Victoria Harbour
- This another way to enjoy the skyline of Hong Kong and one of the first things I did when I arrived. Its surrounding areas such as Central, Admiralty and Wan Chai area area also great to wander around as you’ll most likely spend a lot of time here
Eat local food
- Dim Sum is the most famous food in Hong Kong, and quite cheap- I recommend barbeque pork buns, shrimp dumplings, rice rolls and siu mai at Fresco- Kennedy Town, Yum Cha- Sheung Wan, King’s DimSum- Causeway Bay
Go to Mong Kok
- This is an area famous for its markets, such as Ladies Market, and cheap shopping outlets such as Sneaker Street and Argyle Centre
- It has a different feel to the Island and great food options so it’s great to walk around the area
Visit an Island
- Hong Kong has many outlying islands accessible by ferry from Central Pier for a cheap price
- Cheng Chau and Lamma Island are two of the main islands to visit, with a more laidback feel compared to the city, great food and beaches
Go to the museums
- Hong Kong has several museums that I would recommend- M+ Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Space Museum
There are so many more things to do in Hong Kong, but I hope this list gives you a starting point of what to expect when you first arrive!